There’s strength in numbers and that applies to maximizing buying power for governmental units as well. Five Brainerd area units of government wisely banded together for more purchasing power in hopes that taxpayers will realize savings.
The five units involved in the joint powers agreement are Crow Wing County, Brainerd, Baxter, Brainerd School District and Central Lakes College.
Their cooperation may inspire other units of government to join in with them. Letters will be sent to other cities, townships and school districts to see if they would like to approve a joint powers agreement for purchasing purposes.
The representatives of these five units, let’s call them the Fab Five, realize that taxpayers are more interested in saving dollars than in which government employee purchases goods and services such as lawn fertilizer cleaning chemicals or ice melt. Duplication of services can be expensive and should be eliminated whenever possible.
A similar spirit of cooperation was demonstrated by the cities of Baxter and Brainerd which recently entered into a service sharing agreement that allows them to share staff and expertise as needed. Baxter citizens don’t care whether their building is inspected by a Baxter or Brainerd city employee. They just want to see the inspection done in a competent and timely manner.
Merging cities or school districts isn’t necessary but merging services makes an awful lot of sense.